Millions of Americans are referred to or seek mental health services each year. One of the most prominent reasons these individuals seek this type of support is ADHD. This condition impacts nearly 5% of all people in the United States. While male-bodied people receive the highest diagnosis rate, this condition is encountered across all genders. It was once thought to be a condition that only appeared in childhood. However, adults have recently begun to be diagnosed with it. While it can develop later in life, these adults often have been living with an undiagnosed case of ADHD since childhood.
Understanding The Impact of ADHD on Children and Adults
This condition impacts patients of every age, gender, and walk of life. However, it used to be uncommon to see it diagnosed in adults. One of the driving points behind this lack of diagnosis is limited available data on how it presents in adults. We do know that nearly two-thirds of children who were diagnosed with ADHD in childhood continue to experience symptoms well into adolescence. From their teenage years, nearly 50% of affected individuals will continue to experience ADHD symptoms throughout their lives.
The underlying cause of ADHD isn’t well understood, but current information suggests:
- Genetics – Over a third of individuals with ADHD had parents or siblings diagnosed with the condition.
- Chemical Imbalance – Studies reveal that a significant underlying cause of ADHD is chemical imbalances in the brain.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that our diet can impact the appearance and severity of ADHD. Still, no studies have revealed a connection to date. This result was found despite there being an immense amount of studies performed on this very subject. Inner-ear problems and motor difficulties have also been ruled out as possible causes.
It’s common for ADHD symptoms to go undiagnosed until a child is in an educational setting. Reaching a diagnosis requires symptoms to be observed in two separate settings. In both settings, the symptoms must impact the ability of the individual to function successfully. Six specific symptoms out of the following must be identified during the diagnostic phase:
- Struggles with staying focused on a task
- Difficulty following clear instructions
- Items are often lost in both environments
- Struggles with listening
- Easily distracted
- Commonly repeated mistakes
- Lack of attention to detail
- Trouble with staying organized
- Homework and tasks are often left incomplete
- Fidgeting or trouble staying seated
- Abundant talking
- Difficulty waiting their turn
- Often interrupts others
Is It Time For You To Seek Help With ADHD?
If you’ve noticed symptoms like those listed above in yourself or your children, contact your mental health care provider today. These symptoms can significantly impact the lives of those living with ADHD. Their relationships, careers, education, and hobbies can all be negatively impacted. When you reach out to your area provider, they’ll arrange a consultation followed by an in-person meeting. If a diagnosis of ADHD is reached, various treatment options are likely to be presented. Take control of your symptoms by calling your mental health care provider today!